Texas Woman's University, with campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houstonskip to page content

Marketing & Communication

j TWU Home

Marketing and Communication
News Releases
TWU in the News
Media Kit
TWU Brags
Marketing Opportunities
Recruitment Enhancement Programs
Media Relations Policy
Banner/Marquee and Photo Release Forms
PowerPoint Templates
Poster Templates
Graduation Hometown Press Releases
Staff Directory


TWU Home > Marketing & Communication > News Releases

Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, M.D, Ph.D. to receive 4th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award

Award honors Dallas leaders with a lifelong commitment to improving the quality of life in the community and to furthering the importance of education


Dallas, Texas – Marnie and Kern Wildenthal, M.D., Ph.D. have been named the 2006 recipients of the 4TH Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award, presented by Texas Woman’s University and the TWU School of Occupational Therapy. The announcement was made Sept. 21, 2005, at a reception in the home of Gretchen Minyard Williams and J.L. “Sonny” Williams, the 2005 recipients of this honor.

Established in 2002, the Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award is given annually to Dallas leaders with a lifelong commitment to improving the quality of life in the community and to furthering the importance of education. The award recognizes the life work of Virginia Chandler Dykes as an outstanding health care provider, whose professional and civic achievements represent a lifetime committed to helping others. Past award recipients are Gretchen Minyard Williams and J.L. “Sonny” Williams, 2005; Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, 2004; and Susan and Charles Cooper, 2003. Texas Woman’s University Chancellor and President Dr. Ann Stuart will present the award to Dr. and Mrs. Wildenthal on Feb. 2, 2006, at a luncheon at the Dallas Country Club.

“Texas Woman’s University is so pleased to honor two such distinguished individuals, whose combined commitments to education excellence and improving the lives of others have made a lasting impact on this community and beyond,” said TWU Chancellor and President Dr. Ann Stuart.

Marnie and Kern Wildenthal’s collaborative work as teachers, educators and health administrators has dramatically impacted this region’s institutions. For the past 25 years, Marnie Wildenthal has worked as a middle school teacher at the Episcopal School of Dallas, where she has also served as the school’s director of accreditation as well as the interim director of admissions. Additionally, Marnie has given her time and talent as a teacher and board member to Vickery Meadow Learning Center and served as a tutor at Withers Elementary. An outstanding civic leader, Marnie has served on many boards including the TACA Board of Directors, where she is currently president, Charter 100, and the Friends of WRR. Her work with these organizations and others such at The Dallas Opera, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League and the Dallas Museum of Art have greatly impacted the local arts community. A graduate of Rice University, Marnie earned a M.A.T. from the University of Chicago, and an M.A. from SMU.

Dr. Kern Wildenthal has been the president of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas since 1986. He served as the dean of the medical school at UT Southwestern for six years before assuming his current position. Prior to that he served as graduate school dean and professor of internal medicine and physiology. During his administrative tenure, UT Southwestern has more than quadrupled in size and emerged as one of the leading medical institutions in the world. Four of its faculty have won Nobel Prizes, 15 have been named members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 40 have been elected as presidents of national societies of their clinical and research specialties. Additionally, more than 200 new endowed Chairs and Professorships have been established; total endowments have risen by over $800 million; two referral hospitals and outpatient facilities totaling 400,000 square feet have been added to campus; and the first four buildings of a planned $1 billion research complex have been completed.

A Texas native, Dr. Wildenthal is a graduate of Sul Ross College. He earned an M.D. from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center of Dallas, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England, where he was named to its international Advisory Board and elected to an Honorary Fellowship. Dr. Wildenthal has served as a visiting professor or consultant at over 60 medical schools, universities and research institutes around the world. His medical accomplishments have garnered him international acclaim, and he has received countless professional awards and recognition, including election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Wildenthal joins Marnie as one of Dallas’ most dedicated and outstanding arts supporters and civic leaders. He has served as a board member and played key roles for numerous organizations such as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Museum of Art. Dr. and Mrs. Wildenthal have two grown daughters, Pamela (Mrs. Steven G. Kernie) and Catharine (Mrs. Steven A. Cummer).

“Marnie and I are touched and grateful to receive this distinguished honor named for such an outstanding woman, whose life work in Occupational Therapy is known both nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Kern Wildenthal. “It is with a spirit of celebration of higher education and collaboration and, in Marnie’s case, a celebration of the mutual dependence partnership between schools like Episcopal School of Dallas preparing students for success at institutions like TWU, that we are pleased to accept.”

This award’s namesake, Virginia Chandler Dykes, has spent a lifetime committed to helping others through her work as a health care provider and numerous civic activities. She is known internationally for her work in occupational therapy. Locally, she is known for her leadership in many cultural and charitable organizations. In 2005 she was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to serve on the Texas Woman’s University Board of Regents.

“I am so very honored to have Marnie and Kern accept this award,” said Virginia Chandler Dykes. “It means so much to TWU. These are two tremendously outstanding people whose accomplishments and dedication to this community have literally been life-changing for countless individuals.”

Mrs. Dykes completed the graduate occupational therapy program at TWU in 1954 after earning her bachelor of arts in art and psychology from Southern Methodist University. She was the director of the Occupational and Recreational Therapy Department at Baylor University Medical Center for 25 years. She also founded the Boomerang Club, the first support group for stroke patients and their families.

In 2002, she established The Virginia Chandler Dykes endowed scholarship fund for occupational therapy students, which has been extended this year to include a graduate level nursing scholarship. Mrs. Dykes and her husband Roland also helped to establish the Fanny B. Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship for the School of Occupational Therapy at TWU, which has grown to be one of the premier continuing education offerings in Texas. She is also well known for her leadership in organizations such as The Dallas Opera, the Dallas Arboretum’s Women’s Council and the Fort Worth Opera.

The 2006 Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award Luncheon will take place on Feb. 2, 2006 at the Dallas Country Club. Luncheon Advisory Committee members are Joel Allison, Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Barzune, April Box, Sis Carr, Howard Chase, Louise Gartner, Ebby Halliday Acers, Doug Hawthorne, Caroline Rose Hunt, and Mr. and Mrs. Martin J. Weiland. For more information, contact TWU Development Officer Sheila Marlow, at 940-898-3865 or smarlow@mail.twu.edu.


For Further Information Contact:

Elizabeth Lenart
VGS Marketing Group

Page last updated January 22, 2009

Office of Marketing & Communication
1215 Oakland St.
P.O. Box 425410
Denton, TX 76204-5410
Phone: (940) 898-3456 | Fax (940) 898-3463

TWU Homepage | A-Z Sitemap | Search the TWU site |  Accessibility Policy | Privacy Policy

Visit Request information